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Harold Baines elected to Orioles Hall of Fame03/24/2009 5:20 PM ET
Former Orioles designated hitter HAROLD BAINES has been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame, the team announced today. A native and current resident of St. Michael's, Maryland, Baines spent all or parts of seven seasons in three separate stints with Baltimore from 1993-2000, batting .301 (638-2121) with 107 home runs and 378 RBI in 666 games for the Orioles. The six-time All-Star ranks among the Orioles' all-time leaders in slugging percentage (4th, .502), batting average (5th), home runs (17th) and RBI (24th). Baines, 50, spent 22 seasons in the major leagues from 1980-2001 and at the time of his retirement was baseball's all-time leader in games played, hits, home runs and RBI as a designated hitter. The left-handed hitter compiled a .289 career batting average (2866-9908) with 384 home runs and 1,628 RBI in 2,830 career games with the Chicago White Sox (1980-89, 1996-97, 2000-01), Texas Rangers (1989-90), Oakland A's (1990-92), Cleveland Indians (1999) and Orioles (1993-95, 1997-99, 2000). Baines batted .291 or higher in six of his seven seasons in an Orioles uniform and hit at least .300 three times with the Birds. He hit .300 or better eight years overall in his career and had at least 100 RBI three times. He also reached double figures in home runs for 21 straight seasons from 1980-2000 and is the only player in MLB history to make at least 1,000 appearances as a designated hitter and 1,000 or more at another position (1,061 in the outfield). In 1999, Baines posted a .533 combined slugging percentage for Baltimore and Cleveland, the highest ever by a player over age 40. He also represented the Orioles on the AL All-Star team and had 103 RBI that year, becoming only the 2nd player in ML history to top 100 RBI at age 40 or older. He is one of three players (also Elrod Hendricks and Dick Williams) to have three separate stints with Baltimore. This year marks Baines' sixth season on the White Sox coaching staff and his fourth as first base coach. He spent all or parts of 14 seasons with Chicago and was the first White Sox player to have his number retired by the team while he was still active in 1989. Baines' formal induction into the Orioles Hall of Fame will take place as part of pre-game ceremonies at Camden Yards on Saturday, August 29, prior to the Orioles' 7:05 game against the Cleveland Indians. Longtime Orioles Community Relations Director JULIE WAGNER will receive the Herb Armstrong Award, given to non-uniformed personnel who have made significant contributions to the ballclub and the game of baseball, on that night as well. A native of Severna Park and graduate of Towson University, Wagner joined the Orioles in 1982 as a basebelle, one of the game-day assistants in the team's public relations department. She spent the next 26 seasons with the Orioles, founding the club's Community Relations department in 1984, a time when most professional sports franchises focused mainly on on-field activities. Wagner created and managed dozens of community outreach programs during her tenure, many of which are still active today. Now under the OriolesREACH umbrella, the annual Food Drive for the Maryland Food Bank, Summer Reading program and Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program are three of the most well-known initiatives she implemented. Wagner also helped execute events for numerous club milestones, including Camden Yards' Opening Week, the 1993 MLB All-Star Game and Cal Ripken's Streak Week. Wagner moved to the Orioles' Corporate Sales department after the 2003 season, serving as Director of Corporate Relations for the next four years. She currently works as Foundation Administrator for the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society. Baines and Wagner will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by the Oriole Advocates, founders of the Orioles Hall of Fame, on Friday, August 28, in the Warehouse at Camden Yards. Tickets for the induction ceremony and the Orioles-Indians game on Saturday, August 29 available at www.orioles.com or by calling 1-888-848-BIRD.
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